The Optimal Browser

August 16th, 2010 in .How To Guides
Mrs Mario
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STOP! What browser are you using? Are you fiddling with weird windows, tabs and a screen full of open pages? Do you feel like your internet life is defined by how long it takes you to sort your stuff out? Well, I am here to sweep you off your online feet and give you some insight into the best browsers around, and how to get the most out of them.

It’s funny, I used to get quite frustrated with the internet. Not because it didn’t work properly, but because there was just too much information. Sometimes I still wish I could just download the information directly into my brain. Wouldn’t that be the best thing ever? Ok, perhaps not…

Anyway, I have done some research, poked the ribs of experts, and scoured the web to uncover the browsers you need to know about.

No matter which system you use there is a browser for you. Choosing the one you want really depends on what your personal preferences are (do you like open source, are you a Microsoft fan?), and what you want it to do for you.

a) Firefox.

Mozilla’s little beauty has a fabulous logo, can be used on Windows, Mac or Linux platforms, is eminently customisable, and is completely free. If it shuts down unexpectedly it usually remembers your last open sites and it is super fast. I love the tabbed browsing (it’s quick and efficient and doesn’t spam you), the integrated search engine and the fact that you can personalise it. There are over 6000 add-ons and, like Chrome, you can add skins and theme it up to make your internet experience nice and cheerful.

b) Google Chrome.

Google have their fingers in almost all the online pies nowadays and while Chrome isn’t utterly perfect just yet, it has a lot going for it. Their tabbed browsing is flexible and clever, with a page of most used links appearing each time for easy access, and you can even drag and drop tabs to create new windows and duplicates.

Chrome is also super fast so you’ll zip through the internet at speed and it comes with the fabulously titled Incognito Mode for private browsing. I like it a lot for quick searches and image searches but, unlike Internet Explorer and Firefox, it doesn’t warn you if you shut it down by accident.

c) Internet Explorer 8.

I can almost hear the collective groans of the non-Microsoft lovers out there at the mere mention of this browser. Although IE has had its ups and downs in the past, this latest incarnation is actually rather bearable and very functional. It has the usual Microsofty issues of requiring you do more than you really should have to in order to set stuff up, but it is still packed with some juicy features and extras. There are extensive parental controls, InPrivate Browsing, Web Slices and quick and easy RSS links.

d) Opera.

While still not as popular as the other three, certainly not with PC users anyway, Opera is a lovely browser that has all sorts of lovely bits and pieces attached to it. It has interactive voice commands, quick find, mouse gestures and those all important skins.

I love the fact that you can amble through the web simply by giving voice commands to your browser, and that there are lots of lovely widgets to play with. While there are some compatibility issues and it isn’t as widely used as some of the others, it’s still a really innovative and exciting platform to use. 

The thing is, with browsers, is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just one. I use Chrome for my quick searches and images, and IE8 for my more consistent work in WordPress and other such online applications. So, if you always use one but fancy trying out another, why not have some fun and get two, or even three to play around with? In my next post I’m going to look into things you can do to get the most out of your browser.

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  • mike

    OK Chrome has the best feature, when it works, INSTANT TRANSLATING OF PAGES.
    However apart from that Firefox has it over all others, I’ve tried the lot, more than once.
    Fortunately for Google I only use it when I need a lot of form filling because Chromes has never worked since I installed it, and re-installed it etc etc, another problem with Gmail, I am unable to sign in properly to my second account, it always signs me out after about 3 mins. AND no I am not trying to run both accounts at once AND yes my second account stays signed in with Firefox!